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Police Question Bibi on New Evidence in Telecom Corruption Probe

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Police investigators questioned "Israeli" Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his residence in al-Quds [Jerusalem] on Tuesday morning in connection with new evidence obtained from a state's witness reportedly implicating the premier in an illicit quid pro quo deal in a corruption affair centered around telecommunications giant Bezeq.

"Israeli" PM Benjamin Netanyahu

The case, dubbed "Case 4000" to differentiate it from a slew of other investigations into the affairs of the Prime Minister and his inner circle, centers on allegations that Netanyahu made concessions benefiting Bezeq's controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch in exchange for positive media coverage of him and his wife Sara on Elovitch's news website Walla.

New evidence in the case obtained from state's witness and former personal spokesman for the Netanyahu family, Nir Hefetz, reportedly shows that both Netanyahu and Elovitch were clearly aware that a quid pro quo deal was taking place, and that Hefetz spoke with Elovitch six to seven times a day when he serving as an adviser to the prime minister.

Hefetz has also provided the police with new evidence in two other corruption cases against Netanyahu, including another involving an alleged quid-pro-quo agreement with one of the country's leading newspapers.

Some 20 protesters gathered outside Netanyahu's residence calling on him to step down, as the premier prepared to face police interrogation for the tenth time since the beginning of 2017 in connection to the slew of corruption probes the premier is currently embroiled in.

"Case 1000" centers on suspicions that Netanyahu received lavish gifts from wealthy businessmen in exchange for favorable government treatment.

"Case 2000" centers on an alleged arrangement with Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes to limit circulation of the newspaper's main rival, the Sheldon Adelson-owned "Israel" Hayom broadsheet, in exchange for more favorable coverage.

The case was re-opened several weeks ago, with Netanyahu, Mozes, and other key witnesses and suspects to give additional testimony after new evidence, documents, and recordings relating to legislative efforts to curb "Israel" Hayom's circulation in 2014 were obtained.

The Prime Minister's Office said last week that Hefetz's testimony and new evidence "will amount to nothing." Netanyahu has vociferously denied any wrongdoing in any of the affairs.

The cases have fueled speculation he could be forced to step down or call an early election but Netanyahu has maintained that he is innocent and has denounced allegations against him as a media and police witch hunt.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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